These 20 pieces culled from the likes of GQ, the New York Times, Sports Illustrated, and Runner’s World aren’t so much concerned with the most important sports stories of 2011—the Penn State scandal, for instance, is absent here—as they are with sharing insights into extraordinary athletes among us. John Brant’s piece on Frank Shorter reveals the horrific physical and emotional abuse the 1972 Olympic Gold Medalist and his siblings suffered as children at the hands of their father, a doctor ironically considered a hero by their hometown community. Dave Sheinin’s profile of Bryce Harper and his working-class family gives context to the meteoric rise of the Washington Nationals phenom. And for those of us utterly befuddled by the game of cricket, Wright Thompson conveys its profound meaning to the nation of India and, by association, the rest of the world. “The power of sport,” he writes, “is that, on occasion, it redeems the messes we create around it.” This fine collection, worthy of its predecessors in the annual series, helps deliver that redemption. --Alan Moores
About the Author
Glenn Stout is the author, editor or ghostwriter of nearly eighty books, including the groundbreaking Boston Globe bestseller Fenway 1912: The Birth of a Ballpark, a Championship Season, and Fenway's Remarkable First Year, bestsellers Red Sox Century and Yankees Century, and the critically acclaimed Nine Months at Ground Zero, The Best American Sports Writing, and Young Woman and The Sea: How Trudy Ederle Conquered the English Channel and Inspired the World and his own award winning juvenile sports biography series - "Good Sports."